I work in a nursing home and need to make mailboxes to hang outside the residents' rooms, any ideas? There can't be any sharp edges on them. Thanks for your help.
By Tammy from TN
What about a basket-type of affair made of felt? I know they sell gift bags made of felt, they're square and have a handle you could hang outside of the door. The ones I've seen look kind of like lunch bags but they're made of felt- you could reinforce the stitching and maybe put a piece of cardboard on the bottom for extra support. Or maybe you could use a small canvas tote? I saw some small plastic totes (the kind they use at grocery stores but smaller) at Michael's, they were cute and were $1.00 each. Good luck!
This goes back to elementary school for me. Way back.
We used 2 paper plates, the deeper the better. Shallow ones will not hold much. Cut one of the plates in half or perhaps a little less than half. place the cut plate (either one half or the larger half, however you chose to cut it) facing the whole plate. line up the edges, then staple, as we did when I was a kid, or use a glue gun to stick them together around the edges. To hang it, you can use a hole punch to put 2 holes in the top and run a short length of ribbon or yarn through the holes and tie in place. will hold several pieces of mail, and the deeper the plates the more they will hold. You can also cut 2 pieces from leftover edge, punch a hole in each, and use them behind the holes in the plate when you thread your ribbon or yarn through as reinforcement so they will last longer.
If it were me I would make my own out of cardboard. Fashion it so it looked just like a mailbox. You can even print the room number on it. Put it on the wall outside the door with a thumbtack in the back (or 2 if it is heavy) and then draw a post and tape it under it to make it look real. The Residents can paint or decorate them or you could use stickers on them. Pretty Picture collages from magazines would work too.
Another idea is to make them look like the ones on a porch in the city. This can be easily done with file folders and an overhang. I would experiment and then go from there.
Hope this helps.
How oatmeal boxes? Decoupage outside or cover with wrapping paper.
How about stiff denim? I would make it in a purse type pattern and decorate the front.
Several years ago, I decorated small baskets and hung them on the wall at my parents' home to separate their mail when it was brought in from the mailbox. Flat-backed baskets work even better. Each basket could have small decorative touches added to personalize for each resident. Holiday or seasonal decorations can also be an option. (Maybe a church group could make them for you all, whichever 'mailbox' is chosen, unless it's a craft session for the residents.) Blessings.
Another idea would be to use old fashioned clothes pin bags. They hold lots of stuff, and can be made with any type of fabric to compliment the occupant. They are so easy to sew, or even non sew with stitch witchery bonding tape.
What about using plastic canvas. I used it for making mailboxes that would fit lifesavers for kids in my family. they really liked them. You can decorate it very easy and even make a door on it that closes.
I was sort of on the same wavelength with Mrs. Flowerpot. Only I was thinking plastic pales. Turn them sideways, nail or screw them to the wall thru the bottom, and cut a hole in the lid big enough for mail to go thru. You could buy them from a food service supplier, or ask around at your area restaurants. They may get condements or something in them. Ask if they would save them for you. If the plastic is very shiney, you can rough it up with some sandpaper. Then you can paint anything you want on them. Or you could decorate by gluing fabrics or paper on them. If this sticks out too far, you could think about cutting them in half length wise, that way you'd only have a half circle pertruding from the wall. Good luck!
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